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Is PgMP Next Move For You?


PgMPProgram Management Certification is offered by PMI® and is one of the growing advanced certifications in the project management space. In fact, PgMP Certification is one of the fastest growing certifications in the world. 

There was a recent survey in the USA where the demand for Program Managers far exceeded the number of PgMP Certified professionals in the USA. 

The PgMP certification is not widely acclaimed as the PMP Certification or Disciplined Agile Certification; however, one of the main reasons for lack of popularity is the lack of awareness. 

The PgMP certification offers a lot of benefits and a lot of practical applicability, which help the leadership and Senior Management save a lot of money and achieve their strategic goals more easily. 

Before I answer whether PgMP is the right next move for you, which is the topic of discussion, let’s understand what is PgMP and Program Management in a very quick way.

For more details, you can always visit PgMP Course Details!

The Program Management definition was disputed till as late as the year 2010 between various prominent bodies such as PMI and MSP and recently have agreed that the Program is something that gives enhanced benefits if 2 or more projects managed together than managing it individually. Program Management involves a lot of ambiguity verses says the uncertainty in a project. In a project, the project manager is more or less certain on the project objectives and has the authority to achieve the project objectives. Whereas in a Program, the Program Manager deals with a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty both in realizing enhanced benefits for the program. The Program Manager may not have explicit authority and has to use more soft skills than a Project Manager to achieve the program objectives and generate business value. The Program has a project and even operations as its sub-components.

The Program Management thrives in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) environment, which is a reality today. And the pandemic has accelerated the same. 

The below diagram showcases where the Program rightly fits into. Program Management is a learning based method, which focuses on generating Value, aligning with the strategic goals for the organization. 

Project Management is a Performance based method and focuses on a specific objective. You can refer to the blog on the Differences between Program Management and Project Management for more details. 

The Program Management has Projects and Operations as its sub-components. 

More than anything else, Program Management is much more relevant today than before. The ambiguity has increased manifold – many organizations are not sure which direction to take, how to generate value effectively and this is where Program Management and its structured approach can help achieve strategic goals of the organization in a quicker time and much more efficiently. The structured approach of Program Management is aptly covered in the Program Management Certification course (PgMP Certification course), offered by PMI®. 

The Ambiguity –Uncertainty Context

PgMP Blog (1)

** Image Source: Michel Thiry book of Program Management(Fundamentals of Project Management)

Does Program Management provide benefits to the organization?

Absolutely – no 2 doubts. 

Programs are designed to generate Business Value for the organization and are different from projects. There is a huge scope for organizations to implement program management and address the ambiguity and enhance the benefits to the organizations. 

Ambiguity is when the organization has multiple choices but is not sure which choice is the best possible choice. And therefore, it becomes a learning loop to experiment and achieve the outcomes and the value. If done in a structured manner, it produces many dividends for the organization. 

In my experience, there is hardly any program management done in the organization and therefore, a structured approach of Program Managements offers good scope to practice Program Management for project management professionals. If done in the right fashion, employing the strategy and techniques, a lot of cost savings and benefits can be accrued to the organization.

PgMP – Program Management certification offered by PMI, essentially addresses the right way to do Program Management for an organization. Program Management has evolved and is practiced with wonderful results in some of the leading organizations. There are only around 3000 PgMP professionals across the world, given that it is a relatively new certification as compared to PMP professionals of around 1 million ++ professionals. However, the scope to use Program Management is unprecedented.

In one of my earlier organizations, I had used some of the techniques and strategies of Program Management such as Governance board, Benefits Realization techniques which reduced the ambiguity and streamlined the projects to producing results that could be measured and had a direct bearing on the customer company performance. I had talked about Benefits Realization techniques, Program Governance and application of Program Management in a webinar and a blog 

And now to the topic of discussion,

Is PgMP the right next move for you?

The answer depends on many factors and is a typical consultant’s answer. It depends on where are you currently and what kind of work you are currently into and what kind of work you plan to do in the future. If you are in mature organizations,  there is a very good chance that you can have an opportunity to implement a good number of things of Program Management in your workplace. Also, if you are graduating from Project Manager into higher roles, PgMP may be a good catalyst to get into a higher role of management. Also, a lot of passionate project managers especially PMP certified project managers do it for academic purposes and try to enhance their learning curve and build a career in project management and become skilled project management professionals.

Program Management or PgMP certification has a lot of gains depending on your current context. As a knowledge professional, I see a lot of potential for your career growth which you can apply in your current and future organizations. There are a lot of takeaways of PgMP certification and the workshop experience has been very positive. You can refer to the workshop experience here.

You are the best person to decide whether PgMP applies to you. Our consultants will be happy to help you with the details and guide you if you are keen and interested in pursuing Program Management knowledge or certification. 

One thing for sure – it is a new exciting field and compliments and as well as enhances your PMP credentials, and definitely takes into higher roles of project management.

I will be happy to hear your comments and insights on this topic of PgMP being the next move in your career. 

Enjoy reading and stay connected.

If you have any clarifications, you can email us at info@prothoughts.co.in. or schedule an appointment with our experts here.



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